Black Shark, Realme, Vivo, Nubia, and Lenovo tease new phones with the Snapdragon 855 Plus
Millions of people are relaxing on vacations around the world, but Qualcomm snuck in a surprise for us smartphone enthusiasts this week. The company announced a new flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 855+, which boasts both higher CPU and GPU clock speeds over the original Snapdragon 855 chipset. The community immediately began debating if certain OEMs would be using this newer chip in the smartphones they have scheduled to be released later this year. We have already heard from ASUS and now Black Shark, Realme, Vivo, Nubia, and Lenovo have all teased something on their Weibo pages.
Qualcomm making small improvements over its flagship SoC released earlier in the year isn’t new for the company. In 2016, we saw high-end smartphones launch in the beginning of the year with the Snapdragon 820 chip, but major smartphones released later in the year used the higher-clocked Snapdragon 821 instead. When we compare the Snapdragon 855 against the Snapdragon 855+, we see the following differences:
- The lone “Prime” CPU core has been clocked at up to 2.96GHz in the 855 Plus versus 2.84GHz in the standard 855. This ~3GHz core clock speed finally matches the configuration that ARM initially projected.
- The Adreno 640 GPU in the 855 Plus offers a 15% performance increase over the Adreno 640 in the 855.
This newer chip does not have a 5G modem built-in and is still using an external one (the Snapdragon X50 in this case). The only changes we are seeing are the increases in clock speed for the “Prime” CPU core and the increased performance from the GPU as well. We’ve seen some devices with the 855 already receive a custom kernel that supports these higher clock speeds but your mileage will vary. With the Snapdragon 855+ chips from Qualcomm, the company is making sure it is using binned chips which are proven to be stable at those higher clocks.
It does bring up questions as to how well these upcoming Snapdragon 855+ smartphones from ASUS, Black Shark, Realme, Vivo, Nubia, and Lenovo will handle the chip’s thermal limits.